Scene Magazine interview: J.B. Ghuman Jr., 2011

An interview for Scene Magazine with US filmmaker J.B. Ghuman Jr. about his debut feature film, Spork. Click on the scanned image for a closer look, or read the article excerpt underneath.

They say to write about what you know. Miami-born filmmaker J.B. Ghuman Jr. took that advice and ran with it for his debut feature film ‘Spork’.

Not that ‘Spork’, which premieres in Australia next week at the Brisbane Queer Film Festival, is a direct translation of Ghuman’s upbringing. He didn’t live in a trailer park and wasn’t born intersex. But drill down into the respective lives of the filmmaker and his central protagonist and the parallels become apparent.

“I had gold teeth and blonde hair and I lived in the hood and I was the only white kid,” Ghuman explains. “I’d go home and listen to Enigma and Enya. I was a total weirdo. I would go to school and I would breakdance and show off my gold teeth and be like, ‘Yeah, what’s up yo?’ I didn’t really know how to fit in.

“As we get older and look around we see that everyone goes through that pain, and when it came to my first story to tell, I pulled that lesson and tried to share it through a 13-year-old’s mind space. Because it’s so relatable it’s almost perfect. I’m not gonna make it a gay story – it’s not about being gay; I’m not gonna make it a poor little black girl in the hood because that’s not fair: there are kids all over the world, no matter what their finances are or colour, who have to go through it too. So, ‘how can I tell that story without making it on the nose?’ Then I just started messing around with ideas and I was like, ‘Oh, Spork: not a spoon and not a fork,’ and I just loved it.”

‘Spork’’s tale of an orphaned intersex hero who takes on the Britney Spears-cloned mean girls of her middle school was originally written by Ghuman simply as a way of defining those early years of his life. When he started a script that would ultimately take four years to complete, he had little idea that it would eventually become his first project as a writer/ director. It was only when a close friend handed a late draft to eventual producer Chris Racster that things got serious.

For the full article, visit Scene Magazine.

2 Responses to “Scene Magazine interview: J.B. Ghuman Jr., 2011”

  1. Nice write-up Matt. It sounds like one to check out. I like Ghuman’s quote re trying to fit in at school. haha! How’d he end up with gold teeth though?

  2. Thanks Ant. He was a top gent. The gold teeth was a bit of a b-boy thing back in the day.

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